Celebrating Western's Research History
About the Project
In 2017, Research Western began creating a series of digitally linked heritage plaques to celebrate significant research-related moments in the university’s history, and to encourage the campus community and its visitors to learn how these contributions have benefited the social, financial, cultural and medical well-being of citizens in Canada and abroad.
Two plaques, voted on by the Western community, will be cast annually: one from a STEM discipline and one from a social sciences, arts and humanities-based discipline. Each will be affixed to a relevant building on campus and provide a link to additional media online.
2018 Plaque Nominations
This year, in addition to plaques on which the community will vote, Research Western will introduce a plaque that aims to recognize contributions made by individuals and communities who have been marginalized or prevented from being full and active participants in Western’s research history. Research Western recognizes we must strive to redress this history by actively making space for, and recognizing, these underrepresented groups within Western’s historical accounts of its research success. We also recognize we must work together as a community to acknowledge and dismantle historical and continued structural barriers that have prevented these individuals and communities from full and equal participation within the academy.This plaque will read: This plaque bears witness to individuals and communities who have faced and continue to face barriers to full and equal access to the pursuit of knowledge within the academy.
Research moments and discoveries shortlisted for 2018 include:STEM disciplines
- 1948: Dr. Murray Barr discovered the sex chromatin – now known as the Barr body – ushering in a new era in research and diagnosis of genetic disorders.
- 1958: Drs. Robert Noble and Charles Beer isolated the anti-cancer drug “vinblastine” – the first of a series of chemotherapy drugs used in cancer care – which is still used today.
- 1965: Western opened the first-of-its-kind Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, defining the field of wind engineering and testing such structures as the World Trade Center, CN Tower and Confederation Bridge.
- 1970s-Present: Economist John Whalley revolutionized policy analysis in areas that include trade and taxation, and pioneered the use of CGE models to analyze effects of public policy change.
- 1992 The Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children has led many groundbreaking policy and legislative changes related to domestic violence, child protection, child custody and labour employment standards.
- 1997: Specializing in industrial and organizational psychology, John Meyer and Natalie Allen developed the Commitment Scales to categorize ways in which employees are attached to their organizations.
Voting for the 2018 plaques closed April 13, 2018, the results of which will be announced in the fall.
Heritage Plaque 1 (2017)
Creation of Canada’s longest-running Writer-in-Residence program
Heritage Plaque 2 (2017)
Helen Battle: Pioneering Biologist
Established in 1878, Western has a long history of leadership in research that produces tangible, global impact on health, culture, environment and economies. From the concept of insulin in 1920 to ongoing progress in human clinical trials of an HIV vaccine, Western continues to lead efforts to address the world’s largest problems. This is a sample of just 51 discoveries by researchers and teams we are proud called – and continue to call – Western home.
We would like to acknowledge that our beautiful campus at Western is situated on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenausaune, Lenaapeewak and Attawandaron peoples, all of whom have longstanding relationships to the land of southwestern Ontario and the City of London.
The First Nations communities of our local area include Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames and Munsee Delaware Nation. And in our region, there are eleven First Nations communities as well as a growing indigenous urban population.
Western values the significant historical and contemporary contributions of local and regional First Nations and all of the Original peoples of Turtle Island, also known as North America.